18 Sep 2019

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Rex Plastics Customer Showcase – Polycarbonate Orange Screw

 

Overview

The Orange Screw is a heavy-duty ground anchor offered by a company sharing the same name, Orange Screw. It’s injection molded using recycled polycarbonate, which is a strong and impact-resistant polymer commonly used in electronic, automotive and construction applications. Rex Plastics has been the sole manufacturer of both the large and small Orange Screws since it’s launch in 2015.

Manufacturing Challenges

To achieve the strength that has earned them such success, the Orange Screw’s design needed to be very thick and robust. These qualities are usually problematic in the world of molded plastics. It becomes increasingly difficult to maintain acceptable cosmetics and dimensional stability in thick plastic parts, though some plastics behave better than others in this respect. However, polycarbonate is especially vulnerable to the pitfalls of thick parts.

Rex Plastics only encounters two recurring issues between both the large and small Orange Screws; voids and warping. Voids are pockets of vacuum that form inside thick sections when hot plastic cools and shrinks away from a single point. Warping can occur for several reasons, however in thick parts it is often because the plastic stays hot for too long. This means if the screws aren’t sufficiently cooled on the inside when they come out of the mold, they become susceptible to deformation.

The processing and quality technicians at Rex Plastics have been able to mitigate warped parts, and have also devised testing procedures which reveal the mechanical weakness of Orange Screws that have too many internal voids.

Conclusion

In spite of conventional molding wisdom, the Orange Screw has been a very successful product on both the market and the Rex Plastics production floor.

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